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Albertsons Big Deal of the Week: Keyan Cummins (Butte County)
Keyan Cummins will cherish his high school sports memories but has his eyes set on the future
Published: 6/4/2020 4:30:40 PM

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Name: Keyan Cummins
School: Butte County High School
Grade: Senior
Sport: Track, Football, Basketball
Position: Sprints, RB/LB, Guard

How did you first get interested in your sport?

When I was in junior high, my high school football coach encouraged all the upcoming football athletes to participate in track. Truthfully, I started track just to get better in football. But, soon I realized how much I enjoyed track. By eight grade, I was serious about track and that love carried into high school. Until this season, I competed at the state track meet every year. Last year, medaling in all four events was really awesome. Track isn’t like other sports, because a lot of the training is individual. You are only as good as you allow yourself to be. No one gets the fame or the blame except you. I think those are the same reasons succeeding in track is so amazing.

If you play other sports, which is your favorite?

I also played football and basketball. Football is my favorite sport. On the football field, I felt in my element. I loved growing up on a football field while my dad coached and played semi-pro football. I fell in love with football before I ever started playing, and learned everything I could about it. I’ve started on both sides of the ball since my freshman year.  Although we didn’t win a state championship in football, I have great memories of my team winning two third-place state trophies, and a second-place state trophy. Knowing there are a ton of great football players in my district and in Idaho, it was super humbling to be awarded conference player of the year, conference defensive player of the year, and first-team all state running back and linebacker. 

What’s the most valuable lesson you’ve learned from high school sports?

I’ve learned to not let hardships get me discouraged. While playing sports, I suffered a ridiculous amount of injuries — broke both feet, broke both hands multiple times, tore my MCL, tore my rotator cuff, endured dozens of sprained ankles and had a couple concussions. My sophomore year, I broke my hand in a football playoff game against Dietrich. Nonetheless, I finished the game and managed to hide my broken hand from my mom until after the next quarter-final game a week later in Moscow. I think she still hasn’t quite forgiven me for that. Every time I was injured, instead of feeling helpless, I tried to keep a positive attitude. I learned nothing good comes from being depressed about something you have no control over. Keeping a positive attitude helps me get through the disappointment of no senior track season. Although my senior track season was cancelled, there is absolutely nothing I can do about it. I just have to accept these circumstances and look forward to what my future holds.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received? 

My parents have always reminded me that sports were fun, but school was more important. This advice has been one I’ve always believed in and followed. A high ACT score and good grades gave me several academic four-year college scholarships. I will always have great memories of teammates and sports, but I know staying focused on academics has been really important.

What has been your favorite high school memory so far?

My favorite high school memory was winning the state championship in the 4x200 meter at state track last year. Throughout high school sports, I have only wanted one thing: a state championship. Last spring, my relay team and I were finally able to accomplish this goal. Throughout the track season, my relay team trained hard. We all knew we had an opportunity to do something great. Before our race, we were all super quiet. I think we were all too nervous. But, I knew we were focused and ready. I was the anchor in our relay. So, I felt a lot of responsibility and put a lot of pressure on myself. The race started and my team quickly got a lead. We extended the lead during our second leg, and held a good lead for our third leg. By the time my final leg of the race started, I had the most adrenaline I’ve ever experienced. I knew we were leading and I was determined to not let my team down. I ran what felt like my fastest 200m ever. With 50 left, I heard the crowd cheering and the announcer say, “Butte County will take the gold!” It was one of the happiest and most exciting moments of my life. 

What coaches or teachers have made the biggest impact on your athletic career?

My dad has been my football coach since I started playing football in the fourth grade. He coached me through junior high and high school and was the defensive coordinator throughout my high school career. I’ve respected and enjoyed every single one of my coaches and teachers. Each one of them has influenced me. I have appreciated their encouragement and support. 

Which teammates have you really connected with during high school? 

I connected with Brady McAffee, Bridger Hansen and Sage Cummins. Brady and Sage are actually my cousins. We started playing together when we were young kids in parks and rec flag football and basketball. We’ve played together our entire lives. All three of them are my closest friends and fierce competitors. They have pushed me to get better in every sport. We’ve encouraged each other and have held each other accountable. Whenever we played as a team, we each pushed each other to play to our highest potential. 

Is there anyone in your family who has helped you get to where you are today?

My brother Kent has pushed me in sports my whole life. He helped me practice and gave me advice whenever I played. My brother has made it to almost every one of my competitions even when he was attending college at Utah State University. Kent has been one of my biggest supporters and my mentor in almost everything. He was even one of my basketball coaches for my junior and senior year. In addition, my older sister Daisha, my parents, and both of my grandparents have been super supportive. Growing up in a small school and community has been awesome. There have been numerous community members who cheered for us at events, who supported our high school sports programs and helped us to finance travel to state tournaments.  

What’s something most people don’t know about you?

I’m left-hand dominant for eating and writing, but right-hand dominant for all sports. Thanks to my second-grade teacher Mrs. VanOrden, I have really neat handwriting (that is often mistaken for a girl’s handwriting).

What would you like to see to all the other Idaho athletes who had their season cut short?

I just hope younger Idaho athletes will see how our track season was cut short and make the most of what they have left. I hope they cherish every single moment of being a teammate, and a player. Although high school sports are some of the greatest times of my life, I know they are just temporary. You really have to just enjoy every practice, and every competition while you have them. I would’ve never imagined not being able to compete my senior year of track. Yet, here I am, reflecting on the good memories I have of past competitions and looking forward to what the future holds for my teammates and myself.


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